Charter One Bank

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Charter One Bank Stole My Money!
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Charter One Bank Stole My Money!

I was charged $1599 in just five weeks in insufficient fund fees from Charter One Bank. In Chicago, Illinois. I contacted Charter One bank regarding these excessive overdraft fees. I spoke to [the] regional assistant branch manager. I asked [him] was there any way they could reverse about $700 for two weeks so my rent check could go through the bank and Charter One could put the fees back on my account in two weeks when I get paid again. He said no, and that the only solution he had for me was to close the account. I told [him] I was a long time customer for almost 20 years. I have had frequent problems with insufficient charges of the past couple of years.

In the past five weeks I have Charter One took $1599 in insufficient fund fees out of my account. I am a single month who brings home about $1600 a month the bank fees ate two of my last paychecks. I had no money for rent, gas, food etc. I borrowed money from family members, my retirement account at work and any money I had gone into the account but it ate my money. To survive I wrote checks for food and gas that of course, bounced but I did not have choice in order to feed my child and get to work. I contacted Charter One on September 10, 2008 and spoke with a [him] and explained my dire situation. He told me he would see what he could do for my and call back.

He never called back even after I left three voice mails. I called and called until he picked up on September 12, 2008 and he was very rude and said my rent check will just have to bounce and that it is my fault you are spending more money than you earn. He told me I should close the account because I could not manage the account, so close it. I explained the bank makes money from poor people like me off the fees they charge and that you have been for years. He said he was not going to anything to help me.

He said I had used my debit card twice in two weeks. I explained when I used the card my account was positive and I been putting all my money in Charter One so, I had to use the card to buy food to live and I must have the medical supplies for my sick daughter, the total charge was about $75 it this is only because I was desperate. He said we are not reversing the fees ever for me and told me to close the account. I explained my rent check was going to bounce and he said that was not his problem and told me to come up with another solution.

I only was asking [him] to remove the fees for two weeks until my next paycheck so; I could feed my family, pay my rent and get to work. The fee reversal would have only been temporary the bank would not have lost any money. They have made thousand of dollars off me in the past two years in overdraft fees; I do not understand why they would not want me to keep the account to make more money off me, not to mention help one of their loyal customers I admit I probably don’t make enough money to pay my bills and they charged me fees even when my account was positive and let charges go through even if there was not enough money to pay the charge. The account got out of hand because a retailer was to defer my billing date until November but they did not and my account just got out of hand. I am not a bad person just a poor person.

Charter One Not Your Typical Bank.
     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-09-18:
PLEASE contact Consumer Credit Counseling (a division of United Way) and get some free help with managing your money. If you have paid your bank thousands in bounced check charges over the past couple of years you need some lessons from someone in budgeting.

Beware of those TV ads and sites that promise to help fix your credit and end up charging ridiculous fees for doing nothing. CCCS is part of United Way and should be free.

Best of luck.
Suusan B. on 2008-09-18:
Charter Bank did not "steal your money" - - you were charged overdraft fees because you either wrote checks or authorized debits when there was not enough money in your account to cover them. Times are tough for everyone right now - - more so for some than others - - but the answer is not to write hot checks. I also don't think that you understand that even though your account is now closed, Charter will eventually come after you to collect the NSF fees. Furthermore, writing checks on an account that you know doesn't have any money in it is against the law and is an act for which you can be placed under arrest.

I completely agree with Hugh - - you need to contact Consumer Credit Counseling and ask for their advice on how to get yourself out of your current jam and how to manage your money in the future.
Anonymous on 2008-09-18:
I agree with both Hugh and Suusan. Times are tough for everyone but this cannot blamed on the bank. Please seek financial advice on how to handle your accounts.
CrazyRedHead on 2008-09-23:
They did not steal your money, you handed it to them on a silver plate in the form of fees for writing checks without having enough money to cover them. This could be avoided if you seek budgeting help and start using a checking register and using a calculator.

If yo close your account the back will eventually come after you for those fees and then place you on the black list and you won't be able to write another check or open up an account at another bank for 7-10 years, even if you do eventually pay it off.

If you take what you have paid in fees over the past couple of years think about what you could have done with that money.

And yes, it is illegal to write checks when you knowingly don't have the money in the account. You said you were a single mother, what will happen to your child when you are arrested and in jail for this, that is, if it does catch up to you, especially with her being sick?

He is right, you don't know how to manage a bank account. You should be going after the retailer that was going to defer a billing date and quit blaming the bank.
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Charter One does not respect long-time customers
Posted by on
I've been with Charter One in Canton, OH for 10 years. The only reason I didn't leave sooner is the inconvenience of changing my direct deposit. I've been nickled and dimed to death with overdraft fees when payments posted the exact day as my pay, with NO EMPATHY from their so-called "customer-service". The final draw was when I was charged a $37 overdraft fee on an online auto w/d-payment set up for the 1st; it was posted one day early, leaving my account $21 short (my pay-day fell the next day). This particular auto payment was set up for years and never had problems. When I contacted customer service, the rude little comment from some little jerk with no life experience was "you'll have to call online banking. I would tell you no" [when I asked to have the fee credited]. The online banking guy was no better. They insisted it wasn't their mistake. They are the ones who sent the payment and then cashed the check one day early (dated for the next day!)I was then lectured for 15 minutes by the supervisor that I have to have the funds in the account when the payment is set up. I set up the payments for auto w/d for convenience...based on my pay-days every other week (and the money is always in on that day to cover all the bills!)!! If you ask me, they just want to take your money however they can. I, like many people, live paycheck to paycheck despite having a decent salary and don't appreciate their stupid fine print and red tape. DO NOT go to CHAPTER ONE and tell all of your friends/family as well!! What happened to the good old days where the customer was respected and treated as though their business mattered???. Funny how all these banks want bail-out but they don't want to help out their loyal customers in turn. You'd be better off storing your money under your mattress rather than banking here. I hope they all burn in Hell someday!
     
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werelucky on 2010-12-09:
Post dating checks will not stop the bank posting it when they receive it. They cash it when you get it. Being told it was your fault does not constitue rudeness. They name calling does nothing to bolster your complaint. Get a register, keep track of all withdraws, fees, and deposits. Don't spend more money than you have in the account and then you won't have any problems.
trmn8r on 2010-12-09:
In banking, I try very hard to not get into a situation where I need something posted one day to cover something coming in on that or the next day. I baked this way for a while, and finally realized it isn't worth all the stress. So I keep a small buffer in my account and try not to cut it so close.

I can't explain how much this has eased my mind for the past several years. With interest rates near 0, it doesn't cost much at to keep a cash buffer in checking. You just need the discipline to replace it if it is used.
Mrs. V on 2010-12-09:
"I was charged a $37 overdraft fee on an online auto w/d-payment set up for 1st; it was posted one day early" - "This particular auto payment was set up for years and never had problems"

I may be mis-reading this (wouldn't be the first time, lol) but I don't think a paper check was given. It sounds like the OP set up an auto dept with the bank.

If this is the case then the OP is 100% in the right and the bank should wave the fee and give an apology.
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Charter One Bank - Don't Bank Here Please!
Posted by on
BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS -- I was in the process of buying a home with my girlfriend of 8 years. She received a pension refund of 22, 000. We promptly deposited the funds in my account so we could write a check for the escrow deposit. The bank put a hold on the check and told us the funds would be available in three days since it was a local check and endorsed by both of us. On the third day we wrote 4 checks for bills. On the 4th day we found out the checks were on "hold" and no further information was available. We made no less than 10 phone calls and were told various things like "the money will be available tomorrow", "we're not sure, call back tomorrow", etc. We went to the branch office and after waiting more than 35 minutes we were told they were still "investigating" and would get back to us.

Today, it has been 10 days and they have bounced all our checks and still no answers. They now say they will issue a cashier's check to us in two weeks since the check was not mine. That will be three weeks they have kept my 22, 000. And of course, they will be deducting all the returned check fees.

Don't bank here, please!!! This has been the most frustrating and aggravating thing I have ever been through. Oh yeah, we lost the house too.
     
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Ponie on 2008-08-06:
Of course you called the bank to be sure the check cleared before you starting writing checks against it, didn't you? How did you find out on the fourth day the 'checks' were on hold? Was there more than one check(s) on hold?
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
ditto what Ponie said. You're talking about $22,000! You can't just deposit it and immediately start writing checks against it - I'm sorry but common sense should have told you the bank would want time to verify funds.
yoke on 2008-08-06:
Why are they issuing you a cashiers check?
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
good question, yoke - now that I read this again, I think some important details were left out.
yoke on 2008-08-06:
I am confused on a couple of things. If you wrote checks out on the 3rd day, how did they get to your bank on the 4th day? I know checks clear fast now, but less than 24 hours?
What day did your receipt say the funds will be available? When they say 3 days it is 3 working days. The day you make the deposit and weekends do not count.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
good question, yoke - now that I read this again, I think some important details were left out.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
why are my comments posting twice today?
Ponie on 2008-08-06:
justcuz--heck! There have been times my posts have come through three times. I think it's because they're so good and right on point that they should be published more than once. :)

I think I ass/u/med the poster called the bank on the fourth day. The issuance of a certified check has me questioning also. Wish the poster would return and clarify some of our queries.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
Yoke since the "Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act" which took effect in Oct 2004 it's not uncommon for checks to hit your bank the next day.
Suusan B. on 2008-08-06:
First of all, what is a "pension refund"? Secondly, I think the fact that the check was in your girlfriend's name yet deposited in your account, combined with the size of the check, could have something to do with the length of the hold. When a bank places a hold on a deposit it is always a good idea to verify that the funds are available prior to writing checks or authorizing debits.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
Whether the poster called the bank or waited three business days or kicked his dog is not the point. The OP is saying don't bank here and I agree. There's no call for banks to hold checks for three days especially a 22K check which in today's world is not all that large. There's no call to overdraft an account with a deposit pending. I say that because there are plenty of banks that don't do that. I've deposited larger checks than the sited example and the funds were immediately available. The OP is absolutely right to be chapped and seek a better bank. I certainly wouldn't give my business to a bank with these policies.. why would anybody else?
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
LOL Ponie :)
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
LOL Ponie :)
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
LOL Ponie :)
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
OK...I give up!
bargod on 2008-08-06:
I can't wait for The Bank of Lois to open up. I'm going to run right over and open up an account and deposit a bogus check for 20k that I will have imeddiate access to. Seriously how is 3-4 day
bargod on 2008-08-06:
sorry wasn't finished. how is a 3-4 day wait unreasonable? The check wasn't even in his name but his girlfriends which he cosigned. Every banking account is different. Maybe you easily deposit 50k checks with no wait ,but I'm betting this was a first for this guys account. Just a thought.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
bargod -- The Bank of Lois would hold your check until it cleared and then probably a few days more just in case. I wouldn't choose the Bank of Lois... I'd take my business elsewhere as I would advice you to do as well.
bargod on 2008-08-06:
Sorry I thought you said they should get immediate access to their money. I must have read it wrong. Now your saying a few days is okay? Don't worry I doubt the Bank of Lois would take my money.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
bargod -- I said if given a choice people should choose a bank that doesn't put holds on their deposits or at least banks that don't ping them with OD fees while deposits are pending. Those banks exists... usually local banks that people drive right on by on their way to BoA, WaMu or Chase.
bargod on 2008-08-06:
Totally agree on the OD fees while deposits pending, but don't banks have a right to wait until the check clears at least? Of course if someone has enough in their account already to cover the check if it bounces, but in the case where someone only has say 800$ in their account and they are depositing 20k obvoisely there should be some kind of hold on the account. That's all I'm trying to say.
yoke on 2008-08-06:
When the person makes the deposit they know when the deposit will clear. They are the ones taking the chance and floating checks.
Susan7172 on 2008-09-30:
If you look above the teller window (or next to it) there should be an FDIC posting which explains Reg CC (funds availability). Welcome to the banking world. Obviously you are not accustomed to making large deposits, which is understandable, but here is the deal. Anytime you deposit a check over 5k the bank is allowed to hold the check 5-10 business days in order to confirm funds. 9 times out of 10 it is the ISSUING bank that is not releasing information to your bank to verify the funds. Therefore, your bank continues to hold the check. When you write a check to someone I would like to assume you are keen enough to check your account to see that they funds have cleared first, this is Checking book balancing 101. So therefore - all of the checks bounced and fees (as disclosed to you in your account opening guide - which all banks are required to give) are to be expected.
Just because the bank took long to verify the funds A. does not mean it is their fault B. does not mean they are a bad bank and when do we as the consumer start to take responsibility for not educating ourselves about these policies and procedures. The Federal Reserve has a website where you can read more about the policies banks follow.
anaps on 2009-01-30:
I just realized there were comments here. Please read the post again. First, I questioned when the funds would be available and was told 3 days. Then, I received a notice in the mail telling me the funds would be available on the 7th business day. Neither happened. The funds were held in total for 19 business days. The checks cleared the issuing banks after 2 business days. They finally released the funds after I filed a complaint with the OCC
TStric on 2012-10-01:
I hav been w/ Charer One/Citizens bank for 12 years. I have had problems during that time w/ check clearing. I can say, some of these occurrences was a lack of understanding in their policies. SOme banks will clear a check as soon as it hits your account. Checks can come into an account throughout the day. So if a check comes in at 8AM, it will be processed soon as recevied. A check that comes in at 3PM will be processed at 3PM. No problem, but charter one is a bit craftier. If you have 4 checks out all different amounts that come in on the same day, but diffent times, Charter One will procss them, but will recaluclate from highest to lowest in amount. If you have a $100 in your account and 3 checks (10, 50, 80 and 101) come in on the same day, with the $101 check comes in last. The first 2 checks will clear, until the 101 check comes in even if at the end of the day. Once the biggest check is bounced, 100-29=69, followed by 2nd check for 80 69-29=40
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